Friday, December 9, 2011

Grimmer, Grimmer, and Grimmer

The leaking recreational vehicle where the Grimmer family lived, docked for $400. a month without cooking or showering facilities, other than a green garden hose for periodic showers.



This is the picture Ramie had taken and placed on facebook. It's unfortunate that her family did not document their living conditions as well. Perhaps pictures of their living conditions would have helped them to obtain help.

Timothy was removed from life support today.


I think I will be sick the next time someone tells me that the United States is the richest country in the world. It has always been a little easier to become wealthy here, if you're lucky, because in good economic times, there have been opportunities to train for something which can become a good job, but this has been dwindling. There are almost no new business start ups and nothing but company and job losses now. However, it has also always been easy to become destitute in the US as well. An acute or chronic illness, a job loss, a natural disaster, the failure of a major house system, such as the septic or well to a home resulting in its being condemned by authorities, or a mental illness issue, such as depression has reduced many a family to complete destitution. Some communities have safety nets and churches that will help, and many locations are too poor to even consider it, even when the people have children. With the number of people in serious need in this economy, more and more people are likely to fall through the cracks.
This week, a 38 year old woman named Rachelle Grimmer, applied for social services in Laredo, Texas. Laredo is pretty strapped just now, and is normally one of the poorest counties in the United States. She was apparently living in a recreational vehicle with her twelve year old daughter Ramie, and her ten year old son Timothy. She had been divorced six years, and had claimed domestic abuse. Her ex-husband's family claimed she had "mental health issues". Neighbors in the Laredo trailer park where the family was docked hotly dispute this. They feel she was appropriately conversant with everyone, and was trying to make and sell things. Mrs. Grimmer was claiming to homeschool but one wonders how this could have been possible when she moved from Montana, Ohio, and then to Texas, with very little money, and possibly not enough to buy schoolbooks. Documentation suggests that Mrs. Grimmer applied for public assistance, food stamps and other types of aid numerous times, but because she could not provide proof of empty bank accounts she did not have, or did not have a contact phone number, or a pay stub demonstrating an abyssmally low salary, she was not given any social service aid. I have to wonder how many people, after they'd sold their car for $400. and found a big crack in the RV they were living in with winter coming, wouldn't have been on the edge of mentally disturbed. There is some indication that Mrs. Grimmer had been begging for food at night's end at local restaurants, before the remaining food was thrown away.
One day this week, Mrs. Grimmer went to Laredo Social Services, and when they indicated they could not help her without additional documentation, she shot her daughter and her son in the head, and then killed herself. Mrs. Grimmer died instantly, but the children hung on until each of them died in Intensive Care Units. Ramie died on December the seventh, and Timothy died today.
I am not ready to toss blame to social services. Social Services can only help people who will work with them to provide and document what they do and do not have. I am bothered that Ramie had a computer that made her capable of posting "May die2 day" during her mother's final visit to social services. I would have sold the computer. I am also bothered about the firearm Mrs. Grimmer owned. I too own a firearm, but honestly, if I needed money, I would sell it, pretty quickly. I might have taken pictures of the squallor (using my or a neighbors cellphone) in which I am the children were living in order to get some aid. Yes, there is always the risk that the children would be taken by social services, but this is a risk I would have taken in order to feed them and house them.
As the mother of a child who died at 12 1/2 without clear cause, I cannot imagine anything on this Earth causing me to shoot, injure or kill any of my children. My heart bleeds for those lost children, and for the mind of that mother which was so horribly confused and twisted at the end of her own life.
I am reminded that sometimes it takes very little help or encouragement to help a human being who is demoralized or depressed. In remembrance of this woman, and of daughter Ramie, and son Timothy, please do something to encourage someone who is feeling dejected today. Life is fragile for many people, and especially for children. You could perhaps bring someone having a hard time a bag of groceries. It could get getting them a grocery store gift certificate. Maybe buying a coat on sale for someone you know who needs one. There is no telling what could have changed this week had someone been able to intervene with one small gift of encouragement for Mrs. Grimmer. Who knows. In time, she could have written the next Harry Potter.
Daniel, I hope that there are plenty of loving souls to welcome these lost ones where they are now.

2 comments:

  1. It's sad to hear about the tragedy of young Ramie Grimmer. A young child certainly deserves better. Hope the govt can do more to ensure
    that no one falls through such social safety nets. Read more about how Ramie Grimmer Died here.

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  2. Ramie, her brother Timothy, and mother Rachelle have all died now. Life is short and it is fragile. It can be easy for people to see simply the loss of a family they did not know, and fewer mouths to feed. The reality is that we will never know what contributions Ramie, Timothy and their mother Rachelle could have made to Earth. Many people who make great contributions to the world, and to entertainment, had unusual or challenging childhoods. Try to encourage whomever you can in your daily life. Social Services will never be funded in order to help everyone who has need. It simply cannot be done, especially when paranoia or mental health issues preclude many people to properly applying for help. I saw this, this week in FEMA also.

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